Commentary

Koch Bros. Angry At Trump, May Cut GOP Ad Spend

Midterm political elections are a big deal this year, with many suggesting there could be a sizable shift in many Congressional seats going to Democrats. But what about the political advertising dollars?

Take the Koch Network, the multimillion-dollar political backer long known for placing their money firmly behind conservative/Republican candidates.

Charles Koch recently told reporters that his network -- which is estimated to contribute some $400 million in political marketing heft for the upcoming midterms -- may spend less backing GOP candidates in the future.

Sure, Koch and those in his network love the big Trump Administration tax cuts. But he isn’t happy about Donald Trump's policy regarding trade tariffs, immigration or a wild $1.3 trillion spending bill.

All this is complicated by sentiment that says the popularity of President Trump is directly connected to U.S. congressional representative and prospective candidates. So, more Koch money or less?

Now, it isn’t all about political donations. Look at 2016.

Trump's presidential candidacy only really began spending big political advertising dollars just two months or so before the election. So-called earned media -- wall-to-wall TV coverage, social-media efforts, in no small part thanks to Russian-officials, per the Justice Department -- also played a major role.

What about overall political advertising trends?

Some reports suggest that midterm elections will be rising this year. Borrell Associates estimates broadcast TV stations could get $3.36 billion this year. Still, it is only mid-summer, we have a ways to go.

While tax cuts for big business get the thumbs-up from the Koch brothers, it will be for naught if the U.S. winds up in a recession due to trade wars and tariffs. Then all hell will break loose.

Maybe a different kind of political TV commercial would work. The Kochs would fund a more complicated, sophisticated political message: their likes and dislikes.

You know, the grey areas. Then let voters decide.

TV stations -- so dependent on the every-other-year bump from political advertising revenues -- will nervously wait for the marketplace to shape up. Or not. 

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